12 November 2007

LOL Ahmed Angerpuss?!?

Meet Shakeel Ahmad Bhat as profiled in the Daily Mail (hat tip LGF). How did Callimachus at Done With Mirrors know that guy's middle name was "Ahmed" back when he first called him "Ahmed Anger"? (Dude is an even better reporter/editor than he realized).

I've been calling him "Ahmed Angerpuss" ever since. Even after the puff piece on him, the name still fits, "Islamic Rage" sells well within and without the Islamic community, the well of anger seems deep and endless. Seems the slightest provocation (and even a perception of provocation without any actual facts) is capable of enflaming passions and setting off a round of pointless street theatre. Our media eats it up, then tut-tuts and tsk-tsks when people in the advanced, civilized and tech-savvy parts of the globe (yes, I'm making a value judgement and saying that we in the "west" are better off and just plain better than the angry Islamic "street") see the pictures they transmit as being indicative of the sentiment within a too large portion of many Islamic communities.

Many in the press want it both ways, they want to grossly exaggerate the level and widespread nature of anti-western feeling in Islamic communities while blaming the root cause on our western insensitivity and cultural imperialism, while at the same time castigate us for believing that this rage might constitute a problem and a danger to our way of life.

I think the problem is greatly exaggerated, and it's a real problem (I guess I want it both ways, too). Most people who follow the Last Prophet are peaceful, but they are too tolerant of the nasty fringe within their faith, and they will pay the consequences along with their radical brethren if things get out of hand. The great thing about technology is that each generation of new tech makes using the old tech that much easier and accessible to greater and greater numbers of people, and that's technology's great danger, too. What's true for computers, is also to a degree, true of WMD. It's getting more and more accessible for smaller and smaller groups of committed nuts to get a hold of something big and nasty that can effect tens of thousands, if not millions of people in a single attack. With that reality, waiting for something to happen is not an option, allowing states to tolerate terrorists within their midst is not an option, and failing to do every diplomatic, intelligence, and when all else fails, military trick in the book to diminish, isolate, and eventually destroy extremist groups of any kind, is not an option.

It's an odd irony that the MAD strategy during the Cold War years helped keep an uneasy peace between the two main spheres of influence while also taking WMD out of the mix of acceptable tactics, that the apparent collapse (I say apparent, cause I still don't entirely trust that Russians won't embrace some crazed autocrat at some point in the next 25 years and restart the Cold War) of the threat of total annihilation has actually increased the likelihood of a major city being attacked in this manner.

1 comment:

gt281 said...

very true, nicely said...don't you just love the sand people...
what a religion....